I’ll let you into a little secret…

I am a Christmas decorations hoarder! My obsession is getting a little out of hand I think… the Christmas tree is positively creaking under the weight of them this year. But this won’t deter me. I’ve been collecting them for years. My current favourites are four beautiful exquisitely delicate hand-blown glass birds that we picked up in Prague earlier this year after a particularly red-wine fuelled lunch… the next day I worked out how much I’d spent on them and let’s just say it was a lot more than I’d originally thought.

There has never really been a Christmas tree “theme” at home. It’s definitely a case of more is more – as it should be in The Maximalist home! – a veritable feast of heirloom treasures, handmade delights the children have made over the years, gifts from friends, charity-shop vintage finds, mementos from our travels, treats I’ve bought myself at designer-maker fairs, all mixed up with new decorations I inevitably buy during the course of each year. I love combining different textures such as glass, metal, porcelain, glitter balls, fabric, felt, beads, paper… it makes for an extremely tactile tree and one that conjures up every child’s (and grown-up kid’s) dream of a magical Christmas land where fairies hang out next to robots, sequined butterflies and fantastically feathered exotic birds.

So I thought I would share this decoration delight with you and point you in the direction of some truly gorgeous Xmas decs. This is by no means an exhaustive list, as there is so much out there at the moment. There’s still time to get hold of them, and there’s always next year after all!

For a magical twist on tradition head over to the frankly incredible Christmas Shop at Liberty. There are some wonderful tongue-in-cheek iconic decs shouting “London”, such as the double-decker bus, Big Ben, the Royal corgi dog, and of course a stunning crown. I especially adore the glass globe range of decorations, my favourite being the blue crested bird… might just have to get that one myself! There’s also the Queen in a globe, which made me chuckle. I am also loving the very striking glass humming bird on sale at the moment.

I’ve always been a fan of Paperchase‘s quirky, kitsch take on Xmas tree decorations: in the past I’ve bought robots, dinosaurs, and this year it’s the Jesus effigies that are really making me smile.

Rockett St George has an absolutely fantastic Christmas shop this year. I could very nearly buy everything there! I am completely in love with the glass whale decoration, the set of six glass Mexico baubles and the Love Has Wings dec… I strongly advise a virtual visit! They have some fantastic lights too.

Anthropologie has some beautifully unusual Xmas decs on offer. The scarfed critter ornaments are particularly inspired! And the forest soiree creatures are the stuff of childhood dreams…

If you would like something a little less fussy, have a look at the smooth lines offered by Jonathan Adler.

For something a little more unique, personalised and hand-crafted consider NotOnTheHighStreet, etsy, and folksy. From a quick cursory look, I particularly like the mini kiko frames and the Bombki range (you’ll see a crossover with Liberty) on NOTHS; the fused glass Christmas tree decs and gold ceramic bird decorations from etsy; and the button tree decorations and the laser-cut reindeer dec from folksy.

So get exploring and do that Christmas tree proud with glorious decorations this year! Happy decorating.

Love Has Wings from Rockett St George.
Vintage-style coloured glass baubles from Tinker & Toad in Heathfield, East Sussex. http://www.tinkerandtoad.co.uk
The Maximalist christmas tree festooned in an eclectic mix of festive decorations.
A beautiful Russian doll from the Bombki range on NotOnTheHighStreet.

Cactus and Day of the Dead skull decorations from Rockett St George.
A gorgeous whale from Rockett St George. I am definitely getting one of these!

Christmas isn’t christmas without a few flamingos! From Paperchase.
Christ effigies in bright pops of colour from Paperchase.
Cute animal heads from Paperchase.
A gorgeous scarfed critter from Anthropologie.
Forest Soiree: Fairytale creatures from Anthropologie.
A golden antler. Every tree should have at least one! From Anthropologie.
The glorious glass hummingbird from Liberty… I must have one!
Who doesn’t love a corgi. From Liberty.
Kitsch blue crested bird from Liberty. In a glass globe no less!
A stunning Faberge-esque Liberty bauble.
A crown is a must! From Liberty also.

Gorgeous glass Mexican baubles. From Rockett St George.
Porcelain bling. Just perfect for any tree. Rockett St George.
Oversized tassels. Love, love, love. Rockett St George.
Pineapple fairy lights. Add a tropical twist to your festive decorations this year. Rockett St George.


Who is the fairest of them all?

Today I want to talk about mirrors. I adore them. We currently have one whole wall of the upstairs bathroom covered in salvaged 1940s and 1950s mirrors. And why not?! Mirrors not only serve an obvious function, they are a wonderful device in the home for bringing more light into a room. They quite literally reflect and bounce light around an otherwise dimly-lit room. Or they can flood an already well-lit room with even more light. And mirrors can double the size of a room just by clever positioning. So, don’t think of the mirror as just a surface into which to see your reflection. They really are a thing of magic. Try and experiment and use them in the home in unconventional settings.

A mirror above a fire place is I imagine fairly ubiquitous in most homes, but why not place it off centre? Or arrange a collection of mismatched mirrors over the fire place instead. A mirror resting on the floor and leaning against a wall is a great way of bringing the eye down to floor level and then leading it up a wall. It’ll add height to a room.

And mirrors don’t have to be shiny and new to be effective. Tarnished, beaten-up mirrors are beautiful and add character to a space. And they will still bounce light around a room even if you cannot properly see into them. If you are feeling adventurous, why not try aging a mirror yourself. Follow this tutorial for fantastic results.

Consider scale too. An over-sized mirror in an unexpected setting can look incredible, so too can a diminutive mirror! If I have managed to whet your appetite for all things marvellously mirrored, then shop around as there are some fantastic finds to be had. Rockett St George has a beautiful current selection; for some truly spectacular mirrors check out Alex MacArthur Interiors; The Old Cinema often has some real treats available; and NotOnTheHighStreet offers a vast array of affordable mirrors, with some incredible starburst styles to pick from.

A series of large round fisheye mirrors arranged over a seating area work to reflect light around the room as well as providing an interestingly distorted view of the space. (pinterest)
A mirror doesn’t have to be centred or wall-mounted. (pinterest)
Playing with the illusion of space. A mirror can double or even triple the size of a room. (pinterest)
Mirror tiles arranged to create the effect of a faux window work beautifully here. (pinterest)
“Antique mirror made from Moroccan Zellige tiles – They are beautifully translucent, super irregular but rather breathtaking.” (abigailahern.wordpress.com)
Esher Églomisé Glass. Handmade & installed by Stuart Fox Ltd. (stuartfox.co.uk)
Mismatched mirror gallery. Mirrors don’t have to be uniform. (snitchsnotch.blogspot.com)
Doshi Levien’s jewel-like mirrors for Danish brand for Hay. (dezeen.com)
A collection of hand mirrors mounted on the wall. Works beautifully. (howtodecorate.com)
A mirror can give the illusion of an endless space. (pinterest)
There are no rights and wrongs. Go with your gut. (pinterest)
Simple little details can elevate a space. (pinterest)
Why not be as over the top as possible! Dodie Rosenkrans in her crazy coral encrusted palace. (loveisspeed.blogspot.com)
Mottled, tarnished, aged mirrors look fabulous. (pinterest)